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Clean pineapples and shrimp spread

Dear Heloise: My family loves fresh pineapple, so I often buy a pineapple and cut it up for them. The one chore I disliked the most was cutting out the center core, but by accident I found a simple way to do that chore. I use a doughnut cutter to get the center core out. It’s easy and quick for this task. — Lauren in Florida

NEAT AND TIDY

Dear Heloise: Several recipes I have for baking say to flour the greased pan. It always caused such a terrible mess. Then I had an idea! I took an empty plastic spice bottle, cleaned it and filled it with flour. Now I can sprinkle flour on my pans without the mess I used to have on my kitchen counter. The holes in the shaker cap are just the right size for sprinkling, and it makes baking much easier. — Esther in Iowa

FAST SHRIMP SPREAD

Dear Heloise: I lost my shrimp spread recipe when we remodeled the kitchen. Would you please repeat that recipe? My son and my husband both loved it. — Donna in Wisconsin

Donna, here it is. You’ll need:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup mayonnaise

4 ounces tiny cocktail shrimp, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons seafood cocktail sauce

1/2 cup finely chopped onion (yellow, white or red)

1/8 teaspoon garlic salt

Thoroughly mix the cream cheese and mayonnaise until well blended. Mash or chop the shrimp and add to the mixture; stir in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate until needed. It’s best served at room temperature with crackers and veggies as a dip or spread on bread as a sandwich. Do not let it sit out for more than one hour.

If you like this recipe, you’ll enjoy my pamphlet “Heloise’s All-Time Favorite Recipes.” To get a copy, visit www.Heloise.com or send $5, along with a long, self-addressed, stamped (70 cents) envelope to: Recipes, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001. This shrimp spread is a nice alternative to the usual dips found at parties and will never fail to please your guests and family. — Heloise

INSTANT CUTTING BOARD

Dear Heloise: I have always hated waste. I found that the bacon I buy has a firm plastic sheet under the bacon. I usually remove it from the package, wash it with soap and hot water, and use it as a cutting board. It’s saves my countertop from being cut into. — Jason in Connecticut

Jason, that’s a clever use for the bacon backing, but please make sure the paper is thoroughly clean to reduce any cross-contamination. — Heloise

DISHWASHER SAFETY

Dear Heloise: Just a reminder to your readers to never place knives in the dishwasher with the pointed end facing upward. I cut myself on the arm with a knife I had left pointing up as I was reaching into the back of the dishwasher. I know I should wash knives by hand, but I don’t. — Charles in Oregon

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Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.

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